PIOGLITAZONE- pioglitazone hydrochloride tablet
Bryant Ranch Prepack

chemical structureFigure 1. Mean Change from Baseline for HbA1c in a 26-Week Placebo-Controlled Dose-Ranging Study (Observed Values)


  • Thiazolidinediones, including pioglitazone , cause or exacerbate congestive heart failure in some patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
  • After initiation of pioglitazone , and after dose increases, monitor patients carefully for signs and symptoms of heart failure (e.g., excessive, rapid weight gain, dyspnea, and/or edema). If heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of pioglitazone must be considered.
  • Pioglitazone is not recommended in patients with symptomatic heart failure.
  • Initiation of pioglitazone in patients with established New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV heart failure is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].


Monotherapy and Combination Therapy
Pioglitazone tablets are indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in multiple clinical settings [see Clinical Studies (14)].
Important Limitations of Use

Pioglitazone tablets exert its antihyperglycemic effect only in the presence of endogenous insulin. Pioglitazone tablets should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis, as it would not be effective in these settings.
Use caution in patients with liver disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].


2.1 Recommendations for All Patients

Pioglitazone tablets should be taken once daily and can be taken without regard to meals.
The recommended starting dose for patients without congestive heart failure is 15 mg or 30 mg once daily.
The recommended starting dose for patients with congestive heart failure (NYHA Class I or II) is 15 mg once daily.
The dose can be titrated in increments of 15 mg up to a maximum of 45 mg once daily based on glycemic response as determined by HbA1c.
After initiation of pioglitazone tablets or with dose increase, monitor patients carefully for adverse reactions related to fluid retention such as weight gain, edema, and signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. Liver tests (serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin) should be obtained prior to initiating pioglitazone tablets. Routine periodic monitoring of liver tests during treatment with pioglitazone tablets are not recommended in patients without liver disease. Patients who have liver test abnormalities prior to initiation of pioglitazone tablets or who are found to have abnormal liver tests while taking pioglitazone tablets should be managed as described under Warnings and Precautions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.2 Concomitant Use with an Insulin Secretagogue or Insulin

If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient co-administered pioglitazone tablets and an insulin secretagogue (e.g., sulfonylurea), the dose of the insulin secretagogue should be reduced.
If hypoglycemia occurs in a patient co-administered pioglitazone tablets and insulin, the dose of insulin should be decreased by 10% to 25%. Further adjustments to the insulin dose should be individualized based on glycemic response.

2.3 Concomitant Use with Strong CYP2C8 Inhibitors

Coadministration of pioglitazone tablets and gemfibrozil, a strong CYP2C8 inhibitor, increases pioglitazone exposure approximately 3-fold. Therefore, the maximum recommended dose of pioglitazone tablets are 15 mg daily when used in combination with gemfibrozil or other strong CYP2C8 inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.1) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


  • 15 mg are white to off-white, round, biconvex, uncoated tablets, debossed with “31” on one side and “H” on other side.
  • 30 mg are white to off-white, round, flat faced, beveled edge uncoated tablets, debossed with “32” on one side and “H” on other side.
  • 45 mg are white to off-white, round, flat faced, beveled edge uncoated tablets, debossed with “33” on one side and “H” on other side.


  • Initiation in patients with established NYHA Class III or IV heart failure [see Boxed Warning].
  • Use in patients with known hypersensitivity to pioglitazone or any other component of pioglitazone tablets.


5.1 Congestive Heart Failure

Pioglitazone, like other thiazolidinediones, can cause dose-related fluid retention when used alone or in combination with other antidiabetic medications and is most common when pioglitazone is used in combination with insulin. Fluid retention may lead to or exacerbate congestive heart failure. Patients should be observed for signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure. If congestive heart failure develops, it should be managed according to current standards of care and discontinuation or dose reduction of pioglitazone must be considered [see Boxed Warning, Contraindications (4), and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.2 Hypoglycemia

Patients receiving pioglitazone in combination with insulin or other antidiabetic medications (particularly insulin secretagogues such as sulfonylureas) may be at risk for hypoglycemia. A reduction in the dose of the concomitant antidiabetic medication may be necessary to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].

5.3 Hepatic Effects

There have been postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure in patients taking pioglitazone, although the reports contain insufficient information necessary to establish the probable cause. There has been no evidence of drug-induced hepatotoxicity in the pioglitazone controlled clinical trial database to date [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
Patients with type 2 diabetes may have fatty liver disease or cardiac disease with episodic congestive heart failure, both of which may cause liver test abnormalities, and they may also have other forms of liver disease, many of which can be treated or managed. Therefore, obtaining a liver test panel (serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT], aspartate aminotransferase [AST], alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin) and assessing the patient is recommended before initiating pioglitazone therapy. In patients with abnormal liver tests, pioglitazone should be initiated with caution.
Measure liver tests promptly in patients who report symptoms that may indicate liver injury, including fatigue, anorexia, right upper abdominal discomfort, dark urine or jaundice. In this clinical context, if the patient is found to have abnormal liver tests (ALT greater than 3 times the upper limit of the reference range), pioglitazone treatment should be interrupted and investigation done to establish the probable cause. Pioglitazone should not be restarted in these patients without another explanation for the liver test abnormalities.
Patients who have serum ALT greater than three times the reference range with serum total bilirubin greater than two times the reference range without alternative etiologies are at risk for severe drug-induced liver injury, and should not be restarted on pioglitazone. For patients with lesser elevations of serum ALT or bilirubin and with an alternate probable cause, treatment with pioglitazone can be used with caution.

5.4 Urinary Bladder Tumors

Tumors were observed in the urinary bladder of male rats in the two-year carcinogenicity study [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. In addition, during the three year PROactive clinical trial, 14 patients out of 2605 (0.54%) randomized to pioglitazone and 5 out of 2633 (0.19%) randomized to placebo were diagnosed with bladder cancer. After excluding patients in whom exposure to study drug was less than one year at the time of diagnosis of bladder cancer, there were 6 (0.23%) cases on pioglitazone and two (0.08%) cases on placebo. After completion of the trial, a large subset of patients was observed for up to 10 additional years, with little additional exposure to pioglitazone. During the 13 years of both PROactive and observational follow-up, the occurrence of bladder cancer did not differ between patients randomized to pioglitazone or placebo (HR =1; [95% CI: 0.59 to 1.72]).

Findings regarding the risk of bladder cancer in patients exposed to pioglitazone vary among observational studies; some did not find an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with pioglitazone, while others did.

A large prospective 10-year observational cohort study conducted in the United States found no statistically significant increase in the risk of bladder cancer in diabetic patients ever exposed to pioglitazone, compared to those never exposed to pioglitazone (HR =1.06 [95% CI 0.89 to 1.26]).

A retrospective cohort study conducted with data from the United Kingdom found a statistically significant association between ever exposure to pioglitazone and bladder cancer (HR: 1.63; [95% CI: 1.22 to 2.19]).

Associations between cumulative dose or cumulative duration of exposure to pioglitazone and bladder cancer were not detected in some studies including the 10-year observational study in the U.S., but were in others. Inconsistent findings and limitations inherent in these and other studies preclude conclusive interpretations of the observational data.

Pioglitazone may be associated with an increase in the risk of urinary bladder tumors. There are insufficient data to determine whether pioglitazone is a tumor promoter for urinary bladder tumors.

Consequently, pioglitazone should not be used in patients with active bladder cancer and the benefits of glycemic control versus unknown risks for cancer recurrence with pioglitazone should be considered in patients with a prior history of bladder cancer.

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